NFL TV audience numbers continue to decline early in 2017 season

No wonder alarm bells are sounding in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s office.

The league’s average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7 percent vs. the same period of the 2016 season, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News. Worse for the league, the average game audiences are down 18 percent compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season.
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The NFL’s average TV audience (including Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games) slid to 15.156 million viewers through Week 5 of the 2017 season. That’s down 7.42 percent from an average of 16.371 million viewers through the same period of the 2016 season, and 18 percent down from the average of 18.438 million viewers through the first five weeks of the 2015 season.

Thursday night’s game in Carolina will air nationally on CBS and NFL Network. It’s the third of five Thursday night games that will be televised on CBS throughout the 2017 season as part of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football expansion package for 2016 and ’17. NBC also will carry five Thursday night games this season, beginning in Week 10 and not including the NFL season-opener. In addition to CBS and NBC, NFL Network broadcasts every Thursday night game of the season.

Jimmie Ward Limited Jersey Both CBS and NBC provide their lead broadcasters for Thursday Night Football, meaning Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call the Eagles-Panthers game Thursday night from the booth in Carolina.

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